Research: 98 Percent of Mobile Network Sessions Now Data

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The share of network traffic from data vs voice has grown to 98 percent up from 90 percent in the previous 12 month period according to network traffic analysis by Amdocs.

They also found that data demand leads to an increase in dropped calls. The stress placed on networks has led to an increase in customer experience issues as network demand grows, with dropped data and voice calls increasing by 121 percent.

The most stressed locations showed a 17 percent dropped call rate. While these figures give a stark reminder of the ever-increasing load carried by the RAN, the level to which individual customers were impacted often depended on their choice of mobile handset.

In addition, although LTE drives some increase in data consumption, high bandwidth data consumption (eg video) did not increase, indicating that usage patterns, potentially governed by data plans, remain little different from 3G networks.

Data traffic has however become the primary source of subscriber issues: Top customer frustrations include: Lack of data coverage (47 percent); monthly limits (30 percent) and download costs (16 percent)2.

Voice grew too, customers move indoors: Despite voice calls also increasing by 16 percent, the greatest shift was to indoor usage - the period saw an increase of mobile phone usage in-building by 33 percent. With indoor data users experiencing up to a 50 per cent drop in data throughput; this shift will have a significant impact on customer experience.

"The research shows that the move to LTE/ 4G provides an opportunity to improve the customer experience without exponentially increasing data demand," said Rebecca Prudhomme, vice president of product and solutions marketing at Amdocs. "Service providers need to address this challenge by implementing planning and optimization solutions to manage an increasingly active subscriber base that not only wants to consume data but produce and share it in real time."

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